ABC FIGURES: FHM tops the shrinking men's lifestyle market

The men's lifestyle sector seems to have exhausted the potential of

its existing titles, shrinking 5.5 per cent year on year. A mere four of

the 15 titles were able to report a positive year-on-year result.



Emap continues to dominate the market with the seemingly invincible FHM

-weighing in at 700,172, only a slight drop of 2.3 per cent on last

year.



Below this, however, IPC's Loaded experienced renewed period-on-period

and year-on-year losses, only retaining its second-place slot by

including 30,000 bulk sales and then only outperforming Dennis

Publishing's Maxim by 374 copies.



Maxim now holds the number-two position in terms of UK news-stand sales,

despite suffering a 6.5 per cent year-on-year drop itself.



"Loaded's ABC was off the back of only one issue with the new editor,

Keith Kendrick," IPC Ignite!'s managing director, Mike Soutar, said.

"The reason it's dropped at a greater level than the market is because

of internal, not external, reasons. Loaded has lacked editorial

leadership for more than a year.



"We haven't put much back into the market and spent much time brand

marketing."



Soutar added: "We're seeing decline across the market because young

readers coming in are not sure these titles are for them."



It wasn't all doom and gloom, though, with modest growth achieved by

Front, Wallpaper and Men's Fitness.



The demise of Later and Sky seems to have given a boost to the surviving

"mature" men's titles.



The National Magazine Company's Esquire has managed to stabilise

slightly, with a 1.2 per cent period-on-period increase, while Arena

posted a whopping 35.2 per cent period-on-period gain.



However, NatMags' deputy managing director, Duncan Edwards, claimed the

rival title had gone downmarket to achieve the boost. "Arena has clearly

gone the FHM, GQ tits-and-arse route," he said.



Verdict A marketing push and some genuine innovation is what the sector

needs - hopes lie with the upcoming launch of Jack from IFG and the news

that GQ, following in Glamour's footsteps, is about to experiment with

an A5 format. Will men want to buy a "handbag-sized" title?



MEN'S MAGAZINES

TITLE PUBLISHER TOTAL ABC Period on Year on

period % year

FHM Emap 700,172 -2.3 -2.2

Loaded IPC 305,444 -13.1 -12.7

Maxim Dennis 305,070 -7.1 -6.5

Men's Health Rodale Press 213,145 -9.6 -9.6

Front Cabal 152,041 0.9 6.3

Wallpaper Time-Life 133,405 -0.7 2.4

GQ Conde Nast 127,518 -9.0 -7.7

Bizarre IFG 112,112 -5.8 -4.5

Esquire NatMags 62,005 1.2 -12.0

The Face Emap 60,092 -9.5 -8.0

Focus NatMags 56,141 0.3 -8.7

FHM Collections Emap 55,511 -21.9 -21.9

Arena Emap 50,140 35.2 6.4

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2001).



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